Did you know that well over half (up to 80% according to some sources) of all life insurance policies issued, lapse prior to the insured’s death? Most policies are designed, purchased, placed and funded with the expectation that at death (an unknown time), the life insurance proceeds (a known amount) would be paid to a named beneficiaries. However, this is rarely the case as many life insurance policies are unknowingly acquired to fail.
Why Policies Lapse
Assumed rates of return, a prolonged low interest rate environment and most importantly, policy mis-pricing from the date of policy acquisition, can and do doom a life insurance policies to failure. If neglected and/or mismanaged (where you find one, you typically find the other), a life insurance policy may very likely implode/collapse, leaving the beneficiaries without their intended benefits and the policy payer with an enormous “capital call”, better known as a premium increase, in order keep the policy in force. Why does this happen??? Life insurance police are often sold as “investments” (not the position of this insurance agent) and often with assumed rates of return most consider to be optimistic. When the investment component of the policy fails to achieve the rates of return assumed in the policy, the death benefit which is tied to that assumed growth, becomes at-risk.
Wouldn’t it be helpful if there were such a policy that locked in the premium and death benefit on a guaranteed basis, independent of the stock market, interest rate and other outside variables? Well, there is! Life insurance policies do exist which delivers the intended death benefit to the intended beneficiaries — be it family, business or charity as long as the premium is paid in full and on time. No “maybe’s”, “what if’s” or “subject to’s”. No “investment risk”, no “interest rate risk” and no “policy management risk”. This type of “sleep at night”, “all weather policy” is available, but may not necessarily be presented. Be sure to educate yourself of this option in order to provide certainty and assurances for you and your loved ones. While one size does not fit all and a non-guaranteed policy may have a place in a particular client's planning, many will exercise the guaranteed option if made known and available.
Life insurance is a complicated financial tool and as such, consumers often don’t know the questions to ask. This lack of information and familiarity leads to a policy melt down and total loss of benefits. Exploring how to lock in a policy and guarantee the plan can make good economic, as well as, common sense.